Tostadas are delicious fried corn tortillas loaded with toppings. They are incredibly versatile, with limitless possibilities, however a commonly used base layer for the puffed up fried tortilla is refried beans.
Here I’ve given the beans an autumnal twist by mashing some roasted butternut squash through them. This refried bean seasonal mash up tastes great with the sweetcorn tortilla. It’s all balanced nicely by the spices, buttery fried sage leaves and egg. Crumble some salty feta over the top and add some fresh salsa. This is one of those dishes that would be perfect for brunch, lunch or dinner. I would welcome it at any time of day.
You can buy authentic Mexican corn tortillas from Lily Ramirez Foran's fantastic shop Picado Mexican Pantry in Dublin, or online at picadomexican.com. Blanco Niño is a wonderful Tipperary-based company that produces a range of tortilla chips as well as soft corn tortillas perfect for these tostadas. They have just begun selling into supermarkets, so look out for them.
I recently made huge jars of fermented tomato salsa, inspired by Terri Ann Fox of River Run Ferments in Wicklow. We've been dipping into this every few days. It has a spiciness but also a fermented fizz, with brightness from all of the coriander and lime juice. I just love it and am planning on making more as soon as I can. It elevates cheese sandwiches, salads and burritos.
I love having simple, healthy and tasty jars of goodness in the fridge that can make a meal out of anything. Along with this salsa, sauerkraut and kimchi are two such things. I can take a very basic stir fry or mound of rice and add a big scoop of brine drenched spicy kimchi to waken the entire bowl up. A bowl of chicken stock becomes soup once kimchi is stirred though. I know I can create a great meal with these precious ferments in the fridge.
I love to assemble these tostadas at the table. Everyone gets their own base that they can layer up with what they love. There are never any complaints, just quiet murmurings as everyone passes dishes.
BUTTERNUT TOSTADA WITH FRIED EGGS AND SAGE
6 corn tortillas
½ butternut squash, cubed
1 small onion, diced
½tsp smoked sweet paprika
½tsp ground cumin
Black pepper and sea salt
1 tin beans, drained (pinto, cannellini, butterbean, kidney or black beans)
6tbsp tomato salsa
4tbsp crumbled feta
1 Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel and dice the butternut. Spread on a tray, drizzle with oil and roast for 30 minutes till soft and golden at the edges. Set aside.
2 Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a pan. Gently saute the onion till soft. Add the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Add the beans and 100ml water. Stir and lower the heat to a simmer. Add more water if it looks too dry. Gently simmer for 10 minutes till the beans are soft. Add the roasted butternut and mash till smooth.
3 Meanwhile heat 2cm light oil in a pan. Fry the tortillas for one minute each side till puffed up and golden. Leave to drain on kitchen paper. Next fry the sage leaves in the oil till crisp. Set aside on paper towels. Remove most of the oil from the pan and fry the eggs till the white is opaque and the yolk almost set. Keep them warm.
4 Assemble the tostada by placing each tortilla on a plate, spread with the butternut bean mix then top with the egg, feta, sage leaves and tomato salsa. Serve right away.